Five things to watch for as Meetings approach

Extension talks for key players, including Fernandez, highlight Marlins' offseason issues

Five things to watch for as Meetings approach

MIAMI -- There has been plenty of speculation and little activity for the Marlins leading into the Winter Meetings, which get underway on Monday in San Diego.

All may seem quiet publicly, but internally, a number of scenarios and possibilities are in play. They range from extension talks for players like Jose Fernandez and Christian Yelich to a wide variety of trade options.

It's safe to say there are a lot of ideas being exchanged out there. The question remains: When will deals get done?

MLB.com looks at five topics the team is currently reviewing:

1. Extension candidates
A CBSSports.com report noted the Marlins have opened discussions regarding contract extensions with Fernandez, Yelich and Adeiny Hechavarria. You can add Marcell Ozuna to the list.

Where do those talks stand now? They are ongoing. In many cases, the proposals out there are basically frameworks. Nothing is imminent, and the process is moving slowly, mainly because so many other things are taking place simultaneously.

It's been reported that Fernandez has an offer of six years and close to $40 million on the table.

In these extension conversations, there are basically cases of multiple offers and scenarios being presented. For the same player, there could be one proposal for six years and another for four years. It depends on each player. Nothing is completely set.

2. Jake Peavy  
ESPN.com reported the Marlins have made contact with Peavy's representatives. The 33-year-old combined for a 7-13 record with a 3.73 ERA with the Red Sox and Giants last season. He also struggled in the playoffs and lacked consistency.

Still, Peavy is a proven veteran who could bring a lot to a young Miami rotation. But at what price? He made $14.5 million in '14. The two sides could be a fit if Peavy is willing to take less for a chance to prove himself, and the Marlins are confident he can be as productive on the mound as he would be in the clubhouse.

3. Garrett Jones  
Adding a power bat is at the top of the Marlins' shopping list. The most speculated spot to provide one is first base, which makes Jones expendable.

As Miami explores the first-base market, the club will evaluate if the available options are better. The Marlins aren't going to make a change just to make a change.

Jones batted .246 with 15 homers, 53 RBIs and had a slugging percentage of .411.

Allen Craig, by comparison, opened the year in St. Louis and was traded to Boston. He combined to hit eight homers and drive in 46 runs with a .215 batting average and a .315 slugging percentage.

Jones' solo home run

4. Bullpen
Acquiring Aaron Crow from the Royals gives the club a versatile arm. Crow has been a reliever since he made his big league debut in 2011. But the Marlins have not ruled out trying him in the rotation. Chances are the club will land an established starter and Crow will remain in the bullpen. If that is the case, does any other arm become expendable?

Crow joins a growing list of right-handed setup relievers that includes A.J. Ramos, Bryan Morris, Chris Hatcher, Carter Capps and Sam Dyson. There should be healthy competition for roles in Spring Training, or could some trades be on the horizon?

Marlins add Aaron Crow

5. Second base
It may again come down to second base by committee. Donovan Solano has been serviceable, playing solid defense and offering a good approach at the plate. And Enrique Hernandez offers the threat to hit the ball out of the park. The two could share the job.

The market for established second-base options is slim.

Miami could be left with seeking a shortstop and moving him to second base. That plan fell through in 2014, when injuries limited Rafael Furcal to nine games.

If the Marlins wanted to be creative, they could explore acquiring shortstop Starlin Castro from the Cubs and moving him to second.

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.